Opportunity Areas

5-year American Community Survey (ACS) Estimates are used in the determination of this metric.

Please Note: The Opportunity Areas shown on the map below and posted elsewhere on this site have been updated as of October 2020 utilizing the ACS data that was most current at that time. While these areas will still be available as a scoring factor under the 2022-2023 QAP they will no longer be available within future QAP’s, and IHDA has not determined any new Opportunity Areas after the October 2020 posting. Please note, under the 2022-2023 IHDA will continue to conduct Proximate Opportunity Area review upon request for any project proximate to a newly determined Opportunity Area.

Opportunity Areas (OAs), as defined by IHDA, are communities with low poverty, high access to jobs and low concentrations of existing affordable rental housing. OAs are identified annually and retain the designation for at least four years as long as they continue to meet the identification criteria. Locating your project in an OA is a scoring factor in the 2022-2023 QAP. Scattered site projects with at least one site in an OA will receive a pro-rata score based on the proportion of total units located in the OA. Fractional scores will be rounded up to the next whole number.

Click on the map to find Opportunity Areas in Illinois.

Areas proximate to published OAs that offer opportunity may be eligible for OA points if a connection can be demonstrated. To be considered, a letter (as well as supporting evidence) requesting consideration must be submitted with the Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) and reflected on the PPA Form. Criteria that may be addressed in the letter include:

  • Actual proximity to the identified OA (accounting for natural barriers and market area characteristics);
  • Demonstrated access to obtainable employment;
  • Neighborhood look and feel as it may demonstrate connectivity to the OA;
  • Density analysis and/or gravity modeling that shows settlement patterns that suggest connection to the OA;
  • The population to be served by the proposed development as it relates to the needs and demands of the OA; and
  • Additional supporting documentation that can make a reasonable case for the inclusion of the proposed project in an OA by proximity.

Proximate Opportunity Area status will be considered for projects located within the following distances from OA boundaries:

  • ¼ mile for projects located within the City of Chicago Set-Aside;
  • ½ mile for projects located in Chicago Metro, Chicago Metro (AHPAA), and Other-Metro Set-Asides; and 1 mile for projects located in the Non-Metro Set-Aside
  • 1 mile for projects located in the Non-Metro Set-Aside.